Henry Derek

Red Blooded, Right Handed

Henry Derek Elis will release his new album, The Devil Is My Friend, on October 26th. Tragic themes and a folk-tinged Southern Gothic Americana sound form the basis of The Devil Is My Friend, the haunting full-length solo debut by Henry Derek Elis, with contributions from Aubrey Richmond & John Schreffler Jr. (Shooter Jennings), Jarboe (Swans), Tara Vanflower (Lycia) Neal Tiemann (DevilDriver) and many more. In a marked stylistic departure from his persona as frontman for heavier rock acts, Henry has crafted a poetic and deeply personal solo debut, steeped in memories of his childhood in Milledgeville, GA, the same place Blind Willie McTell and Flannery O'Connor made their death beds; "the kind of small town with a haunted past that can swallow you up whole if you let it," says Henry. Dynamic rock arrangements reflect Henry's encyclopedic knowledge of dark folk, classic country, traditional blues and classical music, resulting in an atmospheric, apocalyptic landscape, where lonely sonic highways are littered with the detritus of misfortune and the soft glimmering of something that might be hope. Henry Derek Elis'origins are about as strange as his career in the music business. Raised by his grandmother, Henry grew up next to Central State Hospital, once known as the largest psychiatric facility in the world. Throughout his childhood, Henry observed the ravages of illness, addiction and suicide first hand. Henry came to prominence upon moving to Atlanta, playing in mostly rock and metal bands before joining The Sweet Meat Love & Holy Cult, a folk collective with legendary artist Jarboe (formerly of the influential band Swans). This inspired him to create acoustic-based folk music under the moniker: To The Boy Elis, a reference from the work of Austrian born poet, Georg Trakl. Eventually, he would move to Los Angeles to record demos with various bands, including members of Gorgoroth, Type O Negative and Anthrax. In 2013 Henry joined the band Scar The Martyr with drummer Joey Jordison of Slipknot fame. After releasing one album on Roadrunner Records, Henry went on to help form the extreme thrash metal band Act Of Defiance, featuring former members of Megadeth







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is life. A reason to live.

What is your music dream?

All of my dreams have turned into nightmares unfortunately.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Might consider changing the current music business model. That's beyond repair or so it seems.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Enya. If only I could remember the name of the song.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Swans, Current 93, Harvey Milk, Slint, Low, Arvo Part, Tiny Tim

What inspires you to make music?

Everything & Nothing

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Music is your master

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

I feel grateful for fans and for people that appreciate live music.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

The reality is that musicians are getting ripped off and can't survive from their art. Artists weren't put on this planet to do menial busy work and make minimum wage. The industry needs to be held accountable and allow artists to do what they do for a decent living wage.

What do you think of Drooble?

I dunno yet.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The music industry.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Of course. I go to shows, Buy records, merch, etc.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Make something that you can be proud of. Don't get discouraged. Put your heart into it and and can't lose.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

The Great Sadness, Clay Rendering, Teeth & Tongue